Move Qi, relieve pain

relax in hammockRelieving pain can be that simple.

Qi (energy) is the basis of the physical structures of the body. When the Qi is plentiful and flowing, we experience ease of movement. Abundant and flowing Qi manifests as supple and toned muscles and flexible joints.

Qi flows through pathways called meridians.

SherlockBecause Qi is energy, it is challenging to observe.
Similarly, the meridian lines are also energetic, and therefore out what is readily perceptible by our five senses.

We know that blood flows through hundreds of miles of blood vessels in an organized manner: from the heart, out to all areas of the body, and back to the heart. Blood is easy to see, but not so easy to feel moving through our vessels.

Qi also moves within an organized web of meridians.

Just like blood, every cell in our body requires Qi. Qi is hard to see but easier to feel than blood. For instance, in a moment of anger, you can feel a rush of energy (Qi) moving upwards. In contrast, in a moment of sadness, you can feel the pull of Qi downwards. In anger, the Qi is rushing upwards, and our physical body is propelled upright, perhaps even yelling.

The energetic roots of pain

In many cases, physical pain is due to slow or blocked Qi flow.
Qi is slowed down by a blockage in the meridian. This energetic pattern is called “Qi Stagnation.” As the Qi builds up behind the blockage, energetic pressure builds and we may experience pain in the area of the blockage, or anywhere along that particular meridian.

For example, pain between the shoulder blades.
Have a look at the picture below of the Bladder Meridian. Notice how it is located between the shoulder blades and continues down the legs to the feet.

Bladder Meridian

Bladder Meridian pathway shown on the right side of the body. The meridian is also located on the left side.

Relieve back pain with Meridian Massage

Step 1
Gently massage the whole length of the Bladder Meridian, from upper back, down the back of the legs, along the outer foot, and the 5th toe (the Bladder Meridian ends at the nail bed of the 5th toe).
Now we have touched into the whole meridian and hopefully encouraged the Qi to flow a little more.

Step 2
Next, we massage acupoints on the Bladder Meridian (referred to as “Bladder points”) to amplify the flow of Qi and clear blockages from the meridian. The Bladder Meridian has 67 points. We only need to activate a few of these to clear blockages and encourage the flow of Qi. I use a couple of local points (points at the area of pain), and a few distal points (points away from the pain).

In this case, I would gently massage the following Bladder points:

Local points: BL 13, BL 14, BL 15
Distal points: BL 36, BL 57, BL 60

Bladder Points to relieve pain between the shoulder blades

Bladder Points to relieve pain between the shoulder blades.

Meridians and points are on both sides of the body

Although the pain is often on one side, I massage the meridians and points on both sides of the body.
As the energetic blockages let go, and the Qi returns to harmonious flow, the pain dissipates. Qi Stagnation is the root of many conditions of muscle tension and pain. By combining the Meridian Massage Approach with your other hands-on skills, you can relieve stubborn patterns of pain.


  • Genesis M.Roy, LMT, ISHA

    Reply Reply November 16, 2017

    Thank you, Cindy, … the colder weather approaching … definitely, I am in need to keep the Qi moving …

  • Selina

    Reply Reply November 16, 2017

    Thank you!

  • Lorraine Jester

    Reply Reply November 16, 2017

    Cindy, This is a good way to make things clearer. Do you have any meridians for releaving pain in low back, groins and both legs at the sites for replaced hip replacements?

  • Evelyn

    Reply Reply November 16, 2017

    Golden Information!
    Thank you for your generous Being!

  • Maria

    Reply Reply November 17, 2017

    Thank you,Cindy!for me is very interested what you do and can learn from you!

    • Cindy Black

      Reply Reply November 17, 2017

      Hi Maria,
      I’m glad you found Big Tree! There are many learning resources for you here, and you can see courses at


  • donna

    Reply Reply November 17, 2017

    I always love your emails. So helpful and always come just at the right time.
    Thank You

    • Cindy Black

      Reply Reply November 17, 2017

      🙂 You are welcome. Thanks for saying hello!

  • Chandra

    Reply Reply November 17, 2017

    Thank You, Cindy — this approach is so clear !
    Do you have some idea of relief for post op (Rt hip replacement) decreased ~lack of sensation along inner thigh+calf –maybe the Saphenous nerve …also at suture site.

  • Rajeswari

    Reply Reply November 18, 2017

    Thank you very much Madam. Really all your messages are very useful to me for my self treatment and getting a lot of relief


    Reply Reply November 19, 2017

    Thank you very much my friend Cindy, itś of great use for me.

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